At 87 years of age, Mr Peter Kow, a long-time volunteer with Bethany Methodist Nursing Home (BMNH), is not letting age get in the way of serving. Rather, the Charis Methodist Church member notes: “I thank God for giving me good health and energy to continue visiting the sick. As long as I am able, I will serve.”
Peter has volunteered at Bethany since 2003. He started as a befriender. He then saw the need for a religious service at the home and prompted his pastor to conduct services while he provided support. Over the past decade, Peter has expanded his ministry at BMNH. He rallied other church members to visit the Home every Christmas and Chinese New Year. Later, he joined the Sunshine group, a group of senior volunteers who organise spiritual activities for residents.
On his own, Peter visits the different wards to chat with residents and bring them something, be it batteries for their radios, reading material or snacks. He also visits former residents who have been discharged and are in need.
A community outreach of Methodist Welfare Services, Bethany provides care for up to 303 elderly sick, frail and needy residents. Bethany’s key objective is to enhance the quality of life for its residents and their family care-givers, and they do this through offering a holistic programme, which includes physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual care. This is further augmented by committed volunteers who conduct various activities at the home.
Peter received his long service award last December at Bethany’s second annual volunteer appreciation evening. And so did three other members from Bukit Panjang Methodist Church (BPMC) – Mr Kwan Kin Mun, Ms Wong Liang Chow and Ms Lynn Yong Lian Yen!
Kin Mun, 67, first served at Bethany after reading about one of its residents in the Chinese papers. Soon after, he accompanied his wife to Bethany. She was already serving at BMNH and had met this resident. He shared: “I saw that the residents were lonely and needed people to show them care. So, I decided to volunteer regularly.” He noted that “it is by God’s grace that I am able to serve as part of the worship team every month and help with Cantonese interpretation at times.”
For Liang Chow, volunteering is“默默耕耘” or “sowing quietly and not expecting any reward”. The 60-year-old said: “I hope that through the sharing during Sunday worship services, residents will come to know Christ. Volunteering also serves to remind me to look after my own health.”
Lynn, 50, has been a volunteer for the past 11 years. She shared: “I find the joy of giving as I spend time with the residents. My own parents’ death also made me want to spend more time with the residents while I can.” Lynn and her group conduct Sunday worship services monthly, a commitment made to the Rev Goh Eng Kiang, then the Chaplain for Bethany, who passed the baton to them in 2005.
In obedience to Christ’s exhortation in Matthew 25:40 that “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me”, the volunteers have helped make a difference to the residents and their family care-givers.
Picture courtesy of BMNH
SUPPORT Bethany Methodist Nursing Home by:
* DONATING financially or in kind
* PRAYING for the needs of the home
Contact the home’s Community Partnership Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 6314-1580.
Jocelyn Tan is the Community Partnership Manager at Bethany Methodist Nursing Home.